5 out of 5 stars
Alexander is the heir to the throne of Theera-Enty. As foreign powers take control of the united worlds of Theera-Enty, Alexander struggles to keep his nation together. But it isn’t only human-kind who are working against him. The legendary Guardians must protect Alexander by battling against demonic beings who whisper evil into the minds of men.
The pirate captain, Sosimo, is desperate to find a lost treasure. Alexander’s half-brother, Salazar, will do anything to gain power, and the governments of different planets vie for control in a war that spans thousands of star systems.
This book has an epic scope as the people of Theera-Enty begin a fight against oppression, and Alexander struggles to understand a prophecy regarding the throne. A mysterious key might lead to a treasure beyond imagining but no one can unravel its secrets.
This plot is full of so much action and twists and betrayals and big reveals! It really kept my interest through every chapter. There are several space battles and skirmishes throughout the book that amazed me from start to finish. It was fascinating, and full of emotional moments as characters had to face their worst fears and find the courage to keep going.
The plot really does feel epic as there are dozens of worlds whose fates hang in the balance. The stakes are high, and that kept me in suspense.
There are deep themes about faith, spiritual warfare, friendship, courage, the nature of truth, and the proper roles of government and military. These powerful messages are so smoothly woven into the story that it never feels too preachy. It makes the story really meaningful. I especially appreciated the spiritual themes and the clear messages about God’s love and forgiveness through Christ.
I loved so many of the characters in this book! Alexander has some wonderful character development as the trials he goes through force him to mature and face his responsibilities. His faith grows stronger and stronger the more he realizes how helpless he is. I love that his character continues to grow through this second book. His character arc is wonderful!
The pirate captain, LaRouche, has the best sassy one-liners! He had me laughing so much. He’s a very mysterious character who is hiding a lot of secrets. I was glad to see more development for him and get some more depth to his character in this second book.
I was also glad to see a little more development for Mei’s character. I really like her, but I wish she had a little more depth to her personality, rather than just always reacting to Captain Sosimo’s character. I wish she were a little more independent, and I wish we got to see more of the story from her perspective.
Another favorite character was old Caedmon, the holy priest. He is called the Faithful Voice of God because he is a preacher and prophet. I only wish we saw more of him in this second book, but a lot of the focus was on other characters. The few scenes he did have were very powerful!
I wish that Aulani’s character had more depth. She just has one thing that defines her; she is good with learning new languages. Other than that, there is not much to her personality. She has so much potential for a good character, but the details are missing. There are some really weird plot holes with her character’s story. Sometimes she acts in ways that don’t seem consistent with what we know about her character, but she does it anyway because… plot reasons.
It’s kind of the same thing with her brother, Jaiden. We know he wants to be a pilot, and he is good at instinctively being able to fly just about any spaceship. And there’s not much else to his personality. He’s sweet and innocent and ready for adventure, but I would have liked to see him really connect with people and show some more depth.
Despite some of the characters lacking the depth I wish they could have, I still really love these characters! I cared about them and what happened to them. I gasped in terror when they were in danger. I cried when they cried. I laughed with them at their silly jokes. There are so many great moments with these characters!
The villains are equally well-written, with disgusting personalities and cruel dialogue. Oooh, I just hated those awful villains!
The writing style is really powerful and exciting! But this book has multiple POVs in most scenes, and that is one of my pet peeves. It feels like sloppy writing. It didn’t get on my nerves too badly, because the rest of the writing was so good, but it was annoying at times.
The book also needs a copy editor, since there are little grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors all over the place. There are a couple of little plot holes that could be easily explained or resolved with a good editor. There is also some “telling” instead of “showing” that got on my nerves too.
I was very disappointed in the continuing romance that Alexander has in this book. There are almost no scenes and very little dialogue between these two people who are supposedly in love. The reader is TOLD that they are in love, but we are never SHOWN anything that makes their romance real. It seems like their feelings for each other are practically non-existent. Every time that they are supposed to have some big emotional reaction in a scene, we are TOLD that they have an emotion, and it falls flat. I don’t understand why this one relationship is so bland, when there are plenty of other friendships, families, rivalries, and other relationships in the book that are vibrant and fun and full of strong emotions.
Overall, I loved this book so much! I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in just a few days.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.